In the US, a Greenfield Online stockholder has filed a class action lawsuit, alleging that the firm's acquisition by Microsoft for $486m undervalues the company.
Microsoft's offer was first revealed on August 29, when the software giant said it would sell Greenfield's online survey arm and just keep the Ciao comparison shopping web sites.
The complaint about the deal was filed last Monday by investor Craig Ginman against Greenfield, its directors, and Microsoft. Ginman purports to have brought the action both individually and on behalf of all public stockholders of Greenfield.
The 'Ginman Action' alleges that Greenfield's directors breached their duties to the company's stockholders in connection with the offer, and that Microsoft aided and abetted this alleged breach. Ginman also claims that documentation relating to the merger has not been disclosed, and that the purchase price does not reflect the true value of the company.
Based on these allegations, the Action seeks a temporary injunction to halt the acquisition, pending a 'proper sale process', and to provide time for Greenfield to weigh up 'all strategic alternatives'.
Describing the acquisition as 'unfair' to Greenfield stockholders, 'unlawful' and 'unenforceable', the plaintiff has also asked the court to hear the application prior to the expiry deadline of Greenfield's share offer on October 8.
Web site: www.greenfield.com .
All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.